California’s Lincoln Highway Association chapter offers four one-day tours every year that completely cover the four legs of the LH across the state. The Saturday “van tours” – named because they are done with a caravan of vehicles, each with its oiwn tourguide – were started in 2004, and even though the tours repeat annually, new discoveries are added each year. Paul Gilger, director of the LHA’s mapping program, initiated the tours and serves as lead organizer. He says they’ve had tremendous help from California chapter members as drivers and guides, including Norm Root, Bob Dieterich, Clark Wood, Gary Kinst, Michael Kaelin, Miriam Hull, and Lloyd Johnson. Photos (except the one by me immediately below) are courtesy Gary Kinst; tour maps from the chapter website were prepared by Jimmy Lin. All are ©.
Above, Looking to US 50 along the overgrown road from the site of Phillips Station, a stage station, resort, post office (Vade), and hotel that was destroyed by heavy snow in 1952. The c. 1960 sign is for the Pow Wow. Look for it on Tour #2 through El Dorado County. Photo © by Brian Butko
1) APRIL 26
1913-27 Central Valley Route
to San Francisco via San Joaquin Valley and Altamont Pass (roughly paralleling I-580, I-205, and Route 99).
Above: Summit Garage, Altamont Pass.
2) JUNE 28
Sierra Nevada Southern Route
to Lake Tahoe via Echo Summit and the Pioneer Trail (US 50 corridor).
Above: Sportsman’s Hall near Pollock Pines.
3) AUGUST 30
Sierra Nevada Northern Route
to Verdi, Nevada, via Donner Pass and Dog Valley (paralleling I-80).
Above: Rainbow Bridge at Donner Summit as seen through LH “subway.”
4) OCTOBER 25
1927-28 Central Valley Route
to San Francisco via Sacramento Valley and across the Carquinez Strait (paralleling I-80).
Above: Lunch stop at Carquinez Bridges.
Each tour starts and ends at the Holiday Inn “Sacramento I-80 Northeast,” 5321 Date Avenue, I-80 Madison Avenue exit (site of the LHA’s 2002 conference). The hotel has a secure parking lot, with many restaurants and gas stations nearby. Departure 9 am sharp, estimated return 6 pm. Cost is $40 per person per tour and includes a driver and tour guide, and refreshments. Each tour stops for lunch but the cost is not included. Click here for complete information on the CA LHA site.